From Halal Explorer

Manchester banner Panorama

Manchester is a vibrant, post-industrial gem at the heart of North West England. The city that used to be nicknamed 'Cottonopolis' (a reference to its most famous export) has hung up its clogs and, thanks to successive regeneration projects, is now a major centre for culture and commerce; seen by many as the capital of the north of England, and sometime regarded as England's second city.

The site of the world's oldest surviving passenger train station and arguably the birthplace of socialism and the industrial revolution, Manchester remains at the vanguard of British culture and technology with a verve and vibe of its own. This vivacious spirit is augmented by the city's two world-famous football clubs and large student population; whilst the mills have been swapped for Michelin stars and the warehouses for world-class shopping and museums, this is still a city that is very proud of its industrial past and of its influences on music and sport.

Smaller than London, Manchester offers the 'buzz' of a large city without the overwhelming scale of the capital. Outside of the city 'proper' lies Greater Manchester, home to 2.6 million inhabitants as well as unique shopping destinations, urban havens and beautiful countryside. The region also hosts Manchester Airport, one of the UK's best-run international airports and the busiest British airport outside of South East England.

Throughout time, writers have sought to describe the magic of Manchester: George Orwell called it "the belly and guts of the Nation"; Edward Abbott Parry "a synonym for energy and freedom", but Ian Brown, lead singer of The Stone Roses, perhaps summed up the Mancunian spirit best when he said "Manchester's got everything except a beach". The sand is almost certainly on order already.



  Piccadilly-East Centre
Covers the area of the downtown bounded by the A57 (M), Oxford Road, and the A62. It covers the locales of Piccadilly, Chinatown and the Village, and Piccadilly Gardens.
  North Centre
Covers the area in central Manchester north of Piccadilly Gardens and east of Bridge Street and Princess St. It covers the locales of the Millennium Quarter and the Northern Quarter, Ancoats and St. Ann's Plaza as well as the multi-million pound Arndale shopping centre.
Covers the area in central Manchester north of Castlefield and east of Quay Street and Peter St. It covers the locales of Deansgate, Albert Plaza, and the newly developed business neighborhood of Spinningfields.
Covers the area in central Manchester west of Quay St, Peter Street and Oxford St. It covers the locales of Castlefield and Petersfield (commonly called Street Peter's Fields).
Covers the area north of the centre as far as the M60. Includes Sportcity, Prestwich, Crumpsall, Moston, Newton, Blackley and Beswick.
Covers the area south of the centre as far as the M60. Includes the neighbourhoods of Hulme, Moss Side, Stretford, Whalley Range, Withington, Didsbury and Chorlton-Cum-Hardy.
  University Corridor
Covers the Oxford Rd/Wilmslow Road corridor from the A57 (M) to the bottom of Fallowfield. Includes both universities, Rusholme, and Fallowfield.
  The Quays
Covers Salford Quays, Trafford Wharf and Old Trafford, home to award-winning architecture, museums and the northern home of the Al Jazeera.
  Salford and the Western Districts.
Covers all of the City of Salford and its outlying neighborhoods; from urban heartland to open countryside.

Towns within the Greater Manchester Conurbation

The following towns are all within Greater Manchester but are not covered by the scope of this Travel Guide:

An introduction to Manchester

The city is in the North West of England, between Liverpool and Leeds. It is seen by many as a young, vibrant and cutting edge city, where there is always something happening. The "Manchester brand" is seen to extend well beyond the city's boundaries (covering all of neighbouring Salford and Trafford, as well as neighborhoods of other boroughs) and even beyond those of Greater Manchester. This serves to reflect the influence it has on the wider region as a whole.

Manchester is a friendly city as well. Northerners do talk to each other and to strangers. Just compare asking for directions in London and Manchester and the difference is often clear. Locals seem more proud than ever of Manchester and all it offers. Some outsiders may find this fierce pride in their city somewhat "un-British,". Positive comments and praise go down a treat with the local residents, and with all that has happened, such is often due.

The adjective associated with Manchester is Mancunian or simply Manc. The distinctive linguistic accent of the city's indigenous inhabitants is much more closely related to that of Liverpool with its strong north-Waleian (Welsh) roots than it is to the Lancastrian or Cestrian of the neighbouring cotton towns.

Although it has gained the stereotype of being very wet, it is actually less than the UK average.

Tourist information

  • Manchester Visitor Information Centre - Piccadilly Plaza, Portland St, M1 4BT 53.48030, -2.23665 ☎ 0871 222 8223 (high cost number) +44 161 236-9900 Opening from Monday to Saturday 9:30AM Monday - 5:30PM, Sunday 10:30AM Monday - 4:30PM (recorded information available by phone outside these times) Has up-to-date lists of places to eat and sleep. The old visitor centre used to be near the town hall so if you ask for directions and someone says that's where it is then they're wrong. Try asking for directions to Piccadilly Gardens - the new Visitor Information Centre is near the tram stop there.



Manchester Central Library.jpg

Manchester was the site of the Roman fort Mamucium (breast-shaped), founded in AD 79, but a town was not built until the 13th century. The old Roman road that ran to the nearby fort of Coccium (Wigan) is mirrored today by the route through Atherton & Tyldesley. A priests' college and church (now Chetham's School and Library and the Gothic Church) were established in Manchester in 1421. Early evidence of its tendency towards political radicalism was its support for Parliament during the Civil War and in 1745 for the Jacobite forces of the Young Pretender.

It was not until the start of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries that this small mediaeval town would build its fortune. The presence of an existing cloth trade, coupled with the mechanisation of spinning in nearby Bolton, created a thriving cotton industry in Manchester. The damp, humid atmosphere was good for cotton spinning since it meant fewer broken threads and reduced the risk of explosions from cotton dust. Water power rapidly gave way here to steam invented by Boulton and Watt and a steam-driven factory was built in Ancoats, immediately north-east of what is now the downtown. By the end of the 19th century, Manchester was one of the ten biggest urban centres on Earth (even before counting the wider population, within 50 miles of the Northern England region, such as Liverpool, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, and Central Lancashire).

Whitworth, inventor of the eponymous mass-cut screw thread, also manufactured his equally revolutionary rifled guns in huge quantities at his factory on Sackville Street. After their initial meeting at the Midland Hotel, still one of the city's most luxurious, Rolls and Royce began manufacture of their luxury motor cars in Manchester/South|Hulme.

Trafford Park, in Trafford, was to become the first industrial estate in the world, housing the Ford Motor Company and much of the pre-wartime aircraft industry, notably the 'Lancaster' Bombers of the AVRO Co.

Manchester's success during the Victorian perioid and before is evident everywhere you look. Great Ancoats Street was a source of wonder to Schinkel and the neo-classical architect from Berlin. Equally grandiose neo-Gothic buildings line the old Financial District around King Street, and public institutions such as the University and the many libraries are dotted around everywhere. There is even a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Plaza (Brazennose Street, straight across Albert Plaza from the Town Hall main entrance) commemorating his personal thanks for Manchester's support during a cotton famine created by Britain's refusal to run the Federal blockade of the slave-owning Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Continuing its radical political tradition, Manchester was the home of opposition to the Corn Laws and espoused Free Trade, as well as Chartism and the Great Reform Act. It was instrumental in the establishment of socialism in the UK. Both Engels and Marx frequented the city; the former conducted his famous inquiry into the condition of the working class, and the latter sought to draw universal rules from the particular circumstances of the early industrial revolution. Cleaving to a more gently pragmatic English tradition it was the birthplace of the Trades Union Congress which led to the creation of the Labour Party. It was also home to a number of philanthropists of the industrial age, such as John Owens and John Dalton, who bequeathed large parts of their fortunes to improving the city.

Student life

Central Manchester is home to two of the largest universities in the UK. The University of Manchester (formed from a merger of Manchester University and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)) and Manchester Metropolitan University (commonly called 'Man Met', formerly the Polytechnic, itself a conglomeration of municipal colleges), as well as the Royal Northern College of Music. There is also a university in Salford, within one mile of the downtown, which is renowned as a European Centre of excellence in Media. Together they create a body of over 86,000 students living full-time in the city.

Manchester is often named 'best student city'. It is very welcoming to the student lifestyle and many establishments in the centre and South Manchester are geared towards students; eating and drinking in Manchester can be very affordable due to the high competition that goes on between these establishments.


Manchester is famous all over the world thanks to its football clubs, including Manchester United (Old Trafford) and Manchester City (Etihad Stadium, Sportcity). Both clubs offer stadium ours/ tours every day. Tickets for Premier League games can be hard for tourists to obtain, though cup matches are easier. Tickets to all matches are sold in advance, with no admission available on the day.

Old Trafford is also home to the Lancashire County Cricket Club. despite no longer being a part of the county of Lancashire. Tickets for Lancashire matches are almost always available on a walk-up basis, though there is a discount when purchased in advance.

In 2002, Manchester was the host to the Commonwealth Games and a large area of East Manchester was converted into a new Sportcity. The centre-piece of this is the stadium. It was used for athletics during the Games, after which it was converted for football and Manchester City moved in. Next door to this is the Regional Athletics Arena, which was used as a warm-up track during the Games.

The Manchester Velodrome started off the whole regeneration of East Manchester and formed part of the bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games (and for Manchester's failed bid for the 2000 Olympics). Britain's great success in the cycling events in the 2012 Olympics owes much to this venue and many of the medal winners are based in and around the city. A BMX centre was added in 2010. Sportcity also includes the National Squash Centre, and a number of tennis courts.


Manchester is a very mixed city. Many races and religions have communities in the city and it has a long history of being more tolerant than most cities to people of any background. The very large number of British Citizenship ceremonies, held in Heron House by the Town Hall each year, are testament to this.

How is the Climate in Manchester

Manchester has a temperate maritime climate and rarely gets too warm or too cold. The city receives below average rainfall for the UK. It is not significantly far behind London in terms of the average number of hours of sunlight per day (based on the last 100 years data from Met office) though it does have a few more days with rain. However, as a result of relatively mild winter conditions and there is never a period that one should avoid visiting due to extreme weather conditions.

As with any city it puts on a good show when the weather is fine in spring and summer and there is a lot of al fresco drinking and eating. It does have its fair share of dull, grey days, which can strangely add to its charm for the visitor.

Masjids in Manchester

Manchester is also home to a diverse and thriving Muslim community. This is reflected in the numerous masjids scattered across the city, each serving as a spiritual and community hub for Muslims. Here, we explore some of the most notable masjids in Manchester, highlighting their unique features and contributions to the community.

Manchester Central Mosque (Victoria Park)

Location: 20 Upper Park Rd
Rating: 4.8 (1,056 reviews)

Manchester Central Mosque, situated in Victoria Park, is a prominent masjid known for its large congregation and active community programs. It opens its doors at 7 AM, offering a place of worship and various educational and social activities for Muslims of all ages.

Anwaar ul Haramain Jame Masjid Manchester

Location: 3 Woodlands Rd
Rating: 4.7 (410 reviews)

This large Sunni mosque and Muslim complex opens at 6 AM and is a central figure in the community, providing a wide range of religious services and community support programs.

Makki Masjid & Islamic Centre

Location: 125 Beresford Rd
Rating: 4.8 (195 reviews)

Makki Masjid & Islamic Centre is known for its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to fostering a strong sense of community among worshippers.

City Jamia Masjid (The Islamic Academy of Manchester)

Location: 347-349 Stockport Rd
Rating: 4.8 (118 reviews)

City Jamia Masjid, also known as The Islamic Academy of Manchester, serves as both a place of worship and an educational institution, emphasizing religious learning and community development.

Didsbury Central Mosque

Location: 271 Burton Rd
Rating: 4.8 (1,194 reviews)

Located in Didsbury, this mosque is not only a place of worship but also a vibrant Islamic centre that engages in numerous community outreach activities. It opens at 9 AM on Mondays.

Shahjalal Mosque and Islamic Centre

Location: 1A Eileen Grove
Rating: 4.8 (74 reviews)

Shahjalal Mosque and Islamic Centre is a smaller yet highly revered place of worship, known for its close-knit community and tranquil environment.

Al-Falah Mosque & Islamic Centre

Location: 96 Heywood St
Rating: 4.8 (209 reviews)

Opening at 5:30 AM, Al-Falah Mosque & Islamic Centre on Heywood Street serves as a beacon of faith and community service, offering various religious and social services.

Al-Sunnah Mosque Manchester

Location: 13 Winterford Rd
Rating: 4.8 (167 reviews)

Al-Sunnah Mosque stands out for its dedication to traditional Islamic teachings and community support. It opens at 9:30 AM.

Alfurqan Islamic Centre Manchester

Location: 42 Great Southern St
Rating: 4.9 (569 reviews)

Alfurqan Islamic Centre is one of the highest-rated masjids in Manchester, known for its extensive community services and vibrant religious activities. It opens at 9 AM.

Jame'ah Masjid E Noor

Location: 87 Stamford St
Rating: 4.9 (341 reviews)

This spacious Sunni mosque and community centre is celebrated for its inclusive atmosphere and diverse programs catering to the needs of its congregation.

Khizra Mosque

Location: 425 Cheetham Hill Rd
Rating: 4.8 (597 reviews)

Khizra Mosque, with its modern facilities and extensive community centre, opens at 6 AM and is a cornerstone of the Muslim community in Cheetham Hill.

The Muslim Youth Foundation

Location: Clydesdale House, 27 Brick St
Rating: 4.8 (524 reviews)

This foundation not only serves as a mosque but also focuses on empowering young Muslims through educational and social initiatives. It opens at 6:45 AM.

Manchester’s masjids are not just places of worship but pivotal community hubs that play a vital role in fostering unity, providing education, and supporting the social and spiritual well-being of the city's Muslim population. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, these masjids offer a glimpse into the rich Islamic culture and community spirit that thrive in Manchester.

Travel as a Muslim to Manchester

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Manchester

Manchester Airport T1

Main Guide: Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport (IATA Flight Code: MAN) in the south of the city is the largest airport in the UK outside of London, offering Flights to over 200 destinations, split between three terminals. The airport is well-served by public transport and is very easily reached from all parts of Manchester and the Greater Manchester Conurbation.

John Lennon Airport, in Liverpool is a budget airline airport with Easyjet and Ryanair serving it. It is convenient for access to Manchester. However, Easyjet now has connections to Manchester from various departure points. A coach service runs connecting the airport to Manchester's central coach station and takes about 45 min. There is now a direct train link between Liverpool Parkway (the station near John Lennon Airport) and Manchester Oxford Road Train Station (in the downtown). East Midlands, Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine each run hourly services (May 2023).

Muslim Friendly Rail Holidays in Manchester

Free downtown tram travel|If you've arrived in the downtown by train from any station in Greater Manchester, you could be entitled to free Metrolink tram travel within the network's ‘Zone 1’ (formerly known as the 'City Zone') (see map here]). If your train ticket lists your destination as 'Manchester CTLZ' then you can travel within the 'City Zone' for free throughout the period of your ticket's validity (the same day if it's for a single journey). Tickets that list their destination as 'Manchester STNS' are not valid and you will need to purchase a separate Metrolink ticket to use the system.

Manchester downtown is served by two major train stations, Piccadilly GPS 53.47739,-2.23073 in the south and Victoria GPS 53.48758,-2.24261 in the north.

Piccadilly is the main destination for trains from around the UK e.g. London, Birmingham, Leeds etc. Victoria has trains from Bradford and local services from elsewhere in North West England.

Trains from Liverpool, Leeds, York, Sheffield and Nottingham may also stop at Manchester Oxford Road GPS 53.4740,-2.2423 which is convenient for the University.

Other stations in the downtown are Deansgate GPS 53.4742,-2.2508 and Salford Central GPS 53.482778,-2.255833, but generally only local services stop at these stations.

Virgin Trains operates service between Manchester Piccadilly and London Euston. This journey, on the West Coast Mainline, takes just over 2 hours in Pendolino trains that do not need to slow down when going around bends. Prices are as low as £11 each way if booked online in advance.

By car

The outer ring road of the Manchester conurbation is the M60. It is accessible from Leeds or Liverpool by the M62 and from Scotland and the south by the M6. From the north and Scotland follow the M6 and then the M61. From the south take the M6 and the M56. The most direct route from the M6 to the M56 and South Manchester is to take the A556 leaving the M6 at junction 19, but it has a 50 mph/80 km/h speed limit for most of its length and can be somewhat congested at busy times of the day. It is signed Manchester and Manchester Airport.

Another route would be to carry on northbound up the M6, taking you directly to the M6/M62 interchange. Here, you would follow signs for Leeds and Manchester North. This can, however, seem a longer way round, but it does also give you access, via the M60 orbital road, to places around the conurbation and is a much better option if you wish to access the northern part of Greater Manchester.

If a little lost in the downtown, follow signs for the inner ring road, as there are signs to most destinations from this road.

Parking in the downtown of Manchester can be expensive. Avoid the multi-storey vehicle parks if you can and look for some open-air vehicle parks. There are good ones by Salford Central Station, behind Piccadilly Station and opposite the cathedral.

If you have to use a multi-storey and the one by the Coach Station and the Village is handy. This is fine as a last resort if you have been driving around for an hour, looking for a place to park. There are increasingly more and more double yellow lines, which designate no parking at any time.

Ladywell Park & Ride is situated near Eccles (M602, Junction 2); the vehicle park is free and there is a tram station. Similarly, parking at the Trafford Centre (M60, junctions 9 and 10) is free and there are buses to the downtown and Stretford tram station.

On Saturday from 12:30 to Monday morning, just over from the downtown into Salford, you can park on a single yellow line (remember that you can never park on a double yellow line) or in a designated space without paying, unlike in the downtown where restrictions apply even during weekends. Streets like Chapel Street, Bridge Street, and the areas around them are a good bet and much safer now with all the new housing developments. There you are just a short walk from Deansgate.

Problems are rare as long as you take the usual precautions and do not leave valuables on display. Try not to put things in the boot (trunk) after a shopping spree if people are watching. Avoid parking under the bridges at all costs, and try the primary streets, just off one or next to one of the many new blocks of flats where it is well lit. Watch out on bank holidays around here. Sometimes these are treated like a Sunday in the centre, but people have been known to get parking tickets on the Salford side. If unsure, treat a holiday, on the Salford side, as a normal day of the week or ask a warden if you can find one!

By motorbike

There are several free parking bays for motorbikes around Manchester downtown.

Travel on a Bus to Manchester


Chorlton Street Coach Station is the central coach station in Manchester, close to the centre, between Chinatown and The Village on Chorlton Street. Coaches run from all over the nation and are generally the most reasonably-priced way to get into Manchester. London to Manchester on the coach can take about four hours, but it depends on the time of day and number of stops.

  • National Express is a comfortable and frequent service which runs 24 hours a day from some cities, including London and Birmingham.
  • Stagecoach Megabus run services to London, Scotland, South Wales and the West. Fares also start at £1, and must be booked in advance online.

Piccadilly Gardens bus station is generally for services to the south of Greater Manchester along with Wigan and Bolton.

Shudehill Bus Station has services to the North of Greater Manchester.

TfGM travel shops are found in Shudehill and in Piccadilly Gardens and timetables, maps and information can be found for all services here.

How to get around in Manchester

Transport in Greater Manchester is overseen and co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) (Information: 0871 200 22 33).

TfGM operates a multimodal journey planner which is a great help in planning getting around the Greater Manchester area.

TfGM sells a number of tickets which are valid for multiple operators, such as the any bus day ticket or System One. If you are planning to do a lot of travelling in one day and these might be your cheapest option. Metrolink Saver day tickets are good value if using the Metrolink tram network. There are tickets for single people and family tickets. The best value are valid after 09:30.

On foot in the downtown

Manchester downtown's many attractions are easily reached on foot, and walking provides the perfect opportunity to take in the architecture of the city. Manchester walking directions can be planned on-line with the walking route planner.

Travel on a Bus in Manchester

The free bus has replaced the old Metroshuttle bus service. It runs on two routes starting from Piccadilly station. Route 1 runs through the downtown, every 10 minutes Monday to Friday from 7AM, Saturday from 8:30AM, until 6.30PM and then every 15 minutes until 10PM (every 12 minutes on Sundays and public holidays, between 9:30AM and 6PM). Route 2 runs a circular route along the edge of the downtown, linking Piccadilly, Oxford Road, and Victoria train stations (also Salford Central station in the weekday peak, 6:30-9:10AM, and 4-6:30PM) and Shudehill bus interchange; this route operates every 10 minutes Monday to Friday from 6:30AM, Saturday from 8:30AM, until 6:30PM and then every 15 minutes until 10PM (every 12 minutes on Sundays and public holidays, between 9:30AM and 6PM). These bus routes can be caught straight from all downtown train stations (Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Central and Victoria) as well as many of the larger vehicle parks. Areas on the fringes of the downtown (such as Spinningfields, Petersfield, Oxford Road Corridor, Millennium Quarter) are now easier to access from other parts of the city. Due to the volume of pedestrian priority around areas such as Deansgate, traffic in the downtown is often slow at peak times.

Most of the buses in North Manchester are operated by First whilst Stagecoach operate in South Manchester and serve most places that you are likely to want to go in the conurbation. The main bus station for the south is Piccadilly Gardens and a new state-of-the-art £24-million interchange has been built at Shudehill for the north. However buses for Wigan, Leigh, Lowton and Bolton can be found at Piccadilly Gardens as well as for Altrincham and Droylsden at Shudehill. The North/South rule generally applies other than those exceptions.

The South Manchester corridor that begins with Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road is the most-served bus route in Europe. Buses connect the centre with the universities and Rusholme, as often as every one minute. The general rule on this street is to get on any bus that is not operated by Stagecoach and your fare is likely to be under £1. Some buses have a student fare, which they will charge you if you look like a student, regardless of whether you ask for it or not. Be warned, though, during peak hours it can take as long as 30 min to make the three-mile journey from Piccadilly Gardens to Rusholme. The 42 (operated by various companies) is usually the most frequent service, operating through the night from Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Wilmslow Road, Rusholme and beyond.

The number 43 bus not only runs all day to the airport but also throughout the night at regular intervals. Train services from Piccadilly also serve the airport all night.

Buses to the Trafford Centre include the Stagecoach-operated Route 250], from Piccadilly Gardens to the Trafford Centre and the First-operated Routes 100 and 110, from Shudehill, via Blackfriars (the stop is just off Deansgate) and Eccles, to The Trafford Centre. The quickest, most direct option is the Stagecoach X50 bus route. They run every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and take only 25 minutes. There are other bus services from Central Manchester to The Trafford Centre and additional services from other towns and suburbs in the conurbation.

Bus tickets are usually purchased directly from the driver. A 1-day Anybus pass costs £5.60 (Anybus & Tram pass costs £7.00) (2022). These "System One"] tickets can be used on any bus.

By tram

Metrolink is the name for Manchester's excellent local mass-transit system. The map of the system, available at each stop, makes it extremely simple to understand. Although not usually significant, it is recommended that you check service availability before travelling, especially at weekends.

Metrolink runs lines from Central Manchester to Altrincham (via Trafford), Eccles (via the Quays and Salford), Bury, Ashton-under-Lyne, Rochdale (via Oldham), South Manchester and Manchester Airport. An extension to the system serving Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre is under construction and is likely to be open by 2021.

Manchester Metrolink - Schemaplan


Greater Manchester Metrolink - tram 3009A

The Metrolink system, when used to its optimum, can provide good value for money. If you are going to be using it for more than one journey in a day and the best ticket to buy is a 1-day Travelcard (either peak, if travelling before 9:30AM on weekdays, or off-peak if travelling at other times) as return tickets are no longer issued. 7-day, 28-day, and annual travelcards are also available. However, Metrolink can work out expensive for short peak-time journeys.

Tickets must be purchased in advance from the automated vending machines available at each station, or for the same price using the Get Me There smartphone app. Every ticket machine has a map of the system on it. Choose the required destination followed by the required ticket type on the touch pad and then insert your money or debit card. They can be operated in English, French, German, Spanish or Polish. Failure to buy a ticket before travel can lead to a £100 "standard fare". Tickets do not have to be validated on board but must be produced if requested by Metrolink staff.

From January 2019 a zonal fare system applies, with the Downtown being “Zone 1” and surrounded by concentric Zones 2 to 4. Passengers must be in posession of a ticket valid in all the zones they are travelling through, for example Manchester Airport and Bury are both in Zone 4, but travel between them involves travelling through Zones 3, 2, 1, 2, and 3 and therefore you need to have either a single ticket for Zones 1+2+3+4 (£4.60 in 2023) or a 1-day Anytime travelcard (valid Monday to Friday before 9:30AM) (£7 in 2023) or a 1-day Off-peak travelcard (valid Monday to Friday after 9:30AM, and all day at weekends and public holidays) (£4.80 in 2023) for zones 1+2+3+4. Two- and three-zone tickets involving travel in Zone 1 are more expensive than ones that do not. Certain tram stops are on the border of two zones, and for ticketing purposes can be considered to be in either zone, so only a ticket for the smaller number of zones needed to reach them is needed. Single-ticket journeys must be completed within 2 hours of buying the ticket. If you buy a ticket using a smartphone you must be able to display it if requested, so make sure your battery won't run out before your ticket does, otherwise you will be liable for the £100 standard fare.

Peak fares apply Monday to Friday before 9:30AM (except public holidays).

Off-peak Family Travelcards are available, covering groups of 1-3 children (under 16) travelling with 1 or 2 adults. Weekend Travelcards are valid from 6PM on Friday until the last tram on Sunday (2019: £6.60, Family Weekend Travelcards: £9.20).

‘Get Me There’: Transport for Greater Manchester is beginning the roll out of a ‘touch on – touch off’ smart card type of system for all public transport within the boundaries of Greater Manchester. The Smart Readers are installed at each stop, but are only used with concessionary passes.

Use the following Zone 1 stations for:

  • Victoria — for the Main Line Railway Station, Urbis, Chethams Library, Manchester Gothic Church visitors' centre, The Triangle and the Northern half of Deansgate.
  • Exchange Plaza - for Arndale Shopping Centre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Urbis, Chethams Library, Manchester Gothic Church visitors' centre, The Triangle and the Northern half of Deansgate
  • Shudehill — for Bus Interchange, The Printworks, Manchester Arndale and parts of the Northern Quarter.
  • Market Street — for the main shopping area, including parts of Manchester Arndale and Affleck’s Palace.
  • Piccadilly Gardens — for bus station, Coach Interchange from Chorlton Street Coach Station, Chinatown, The Village, Manchester Art Gallery, Cube Gallery and parts of the Northern Quarter.
  • Piccadilly — for Rail Interchange and Metroshuttle and Oxford Road Link buses. Manchester Apollo is a 10-minutes walk from here.
  • St. Peter's Plaza — for Oxford Road Station, Central Library, The Library Theatre, Bridgewater Hall, The Midland and Radisson Hotels, Manchester Art Gallery, The Town Hall and Albert Plaza. Buses down the Oxford Road corridor to The Palace Theatre, The Green Room, Dance House and Contact Theatres and to the universities and beyond.
  • Deansgate-Castlefield — for Rail Interchange from Deansgate Station, Manchester Central (exhibition centre/conference & concert venue), Beetham Tower, Great Northern, MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) and the southern half of Deansgate and the beautiful and vibrant canal side area of Castlefield.

Other interesting destinations:

  • MediaCityUK (Zone 2) — Around 15 minutes from the Downtown on the MediaCity/Eccles line. Closest station to the Lowry, Lowry Outlet Mall and Imperial War Museum North as well as the MediaCityUK home of the Al Jazeera, and University Of Salford. Cross over the Manchester Ship Canal/River Irwell by one of the footbridges to visit the Imperial War Museum or the ITV's Granada studios
  • Etihad Campus (Zone 2) — Next to Manchester City Football Club's Etihad Stadium, this stop is particularly handy for football matches as well as the concerts and exhibitions that the stadium plays host to.
  • Heaton Park (Zone 3) — Around 10 minutes from the Downtown on the Bury Line. Alight here for Manchester's chief parkland. This is the biggest municipal park in the nation and a great day out in summer. It has seen much investment of late. Inside you will find a pet zoo, tramway museum, boating lake, stables and golf centre with pitch and putt. The former stately home Heaton Hall is in the park and is open to visitors in the summer months.
  • Old Trafford (Zone 2) — Around 10 minutes from the Downtown on the Altrincham Line. For Manchester United Football Club and the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club.
  • Stretford (Zone 2/3) — Around 10 minutes from the Downtown on the Altrincham Line. Take care at night.
  • Ladywell (Zone 2) — Around 15 minutes from the Downtown on the Eccles Line. There is a large, free vehicle park for the Park and Ride service to Salford Quays and the city.
  • Chorlton (Zone 2) — Around 15 minutes from the Downtown on the Manchester Airport and East Didsbury Lines. This area of South Manchester has lots to do in summer including the Beech Road Festival in June, The Unity Festival in Chorlton Park and the Big Green Festival as well as the Chorlton arts´ festival. The area is populated with creative people such as artists, writers and actors. Until January 2009 Chorlton was the location for the Cosgrove Hall animation studios where the children's series Chorlton and the Wheelies and Dangermouse were created. The area is used by film crews for TV locations, such as The Second Coming.
  • Altrincham (Zone 4) - For food-related experiences
  • Bury (Zone 4) - East Lancashire Railway. Preserved steam (and diesel) trains most weekends and other days in school holidays. Excellent fine dining trains on Sundays.

For anyone who wishes to combine tram travel with sight-seeing there is a book by local author Barry Worthington called The Metrolink Companion which gives a detailed description of what to see as you journey along all of the lines.

Best way to travel in Manchester by a Taxi

Taxis are considerably cheaper than in London. As a general rule you should be able to get anywhere you need to go within the core of the city for £5-10. Because of the nature of the tight local authority boundaries within the conurbation, taxis easily cross these, and there are few problems as long as your journey stays within Greater Manchester. As a general rule, taxis are required to put the meter on for journeys within the M60 ring road (and sometimes little farther). If you are to travel farther, it is best to agree a price in advance. You may flag down only the black cabs (London-style Hackney carriages): other taxis must be booked in advance over the phone and are marked with the yellow Manchester City Council sign on the bonnet, and the firm's phone number (again on a yellow strip) on the sides. These are often called minicabs or private hire cars.

Avoid rogue mini cabs at all costs. Even if the vehicle has a Manchester City Council plate, or one from one of the other metropolitan boroughs, you are not insured if the cab was not booked in advance.

There are a number of taxi ranks within the downtown, staffed by security/logistical staff during busy periods. These ranks are serviced only by black cabs, but there are also private hire taxi/minicab companies that you can walk to and then wait (inside or usually outside) until a vehicle becomes available.

Muslim Friendly Rail Holidays in Manchester

Local rail services run regularly and to most places in the surrounding area and beyond. All trains pass through either Piccadilly or Victoria, but you may wish to call or visit the website of National Rail Enquiries (0845 748 4950, a premium rate call from most mobiles) to find out which one before setting off. If you plan to take several off peak journeys within Greater Manchester, you could consider a "Rail Ranger" ticket, which, as of January 2018, costs £6.80 per day for adults and £3.40 for children under 16 (accompanied children under 5 are free). This is a large area and means you could travel as far north as Bolton and Rochdale, as far south as the airport and Stockport, as far west as Wigan and as far east as The Peak District. They also include free travel on the Metrolink within the central zone. These can be purchased at ticket offices or on the train.

If you are in a hurry to get to outlying places by train and are unsure where to buy your ticket, as long as you board the correct one and these can be purchased on the train from the guard who will walk through the carriages. Piccadilly in particular can be quite confusing to the visitor. There are some ticket machines if the queues are too long. A note of caution to buying tickets on the train; some service providers (Virgin in particular) will charge you the 'standard fare' which is basically the full peak time fare if you buy on the train; this can work out very expensive.

Train services from Piccadilly serve the airport all night.

See and do

Cosmopolitan Manchester

Manchester Chinatown 2023

  • Manchester's Chinatown around George Street and Faulkner Street has been a feature of Manchester since the late 1970s. It is home to the bulk of Manchester's east-Asian restaurants and many traders in Chinese food and goods. As night falls upon Chinatown and the neon lights come on, adding to the ambient feel of the area. There are many eateries to try too. They range from Chinese to Japanese; reaching out to a wide spectrum of tastes. There are also Chinese shops for the local residents to buy items imported directly from China, such as newspapers, magazines, DVDs and medications.
  • The Village, commonly called the Village, has built up around Canal Street out of the many cotton warehouses in the area. It is home to one of the oldest and most-established communities in Europe and is known for its tolerance toward all kinds of people. Many of Manchester's most famous bars and clubs are to be found here, most of which are as popular with straight party-animals as they are with the crowd. The Village hosts a major Pride festival every year (August Bank Holiday; the last weekend of the month).
  • Manchester's Northern Quarter has developed massively over the last few years and is brimming with restaurants, bars, live music venues and independent shops.
  • Check out the Curry Mile, a 800 metre-long stretch of many Halal Curries restaurants, sari shops, and jewellery stores in Rusholme.
  • If you have time and want to mix with trendy, monied residents try an evening out in the very upmarket southern suburb of Didsbury. This is a popular nighttime destination for many from across the conurbation. "The village" (not to be confused with the Village in the downtown) as it is known is too far from East Didsbury station for comfort, but a taxi is feasible from the downtown or there is a good bus service.

Historical Manchester

  • Castlefield is the site of the original Roman settlement Mamucium and has been known as Castlefield since Medieval times. The walls that still stand over two metres high are from as late as the 16th century. It is the centre of Manchester's canal network and a transport nexus of unique historical importance. The Castlefield Basin joins the Rochdale and Bridgewater canals and the latter being the first cut canal in Britain. The nearby Museum of Science and Industry contains Liverpool Road station and the first passenger train station in the world. Very important in industrial times, it became run down in post-war times until it was completely regenerated in the 1990s and designated Britain's first Urban Heritage site. These days the area is like a small country oasis in the heart of the city, with regular events and a handful of great pubs around the canals and the neighbouring streets. It is also the only place to see wildlife in Manchester's centre.
  • The University of Manchester, on Oxford Road, where amongst other things and the atom was first probed by Rutherford and the first computer was built, and where radio astronomy was pioneered. It was here too that the element Vanadium was first isolated. The architectural style of the new curved visitor's centre contrasts with the old buildings on the opposite side of Oxford Road, within which Manchester Museum is to be found.
  • Manchester Gothic Church, in Manchester/Victoria - Shopping District|the Millennium Quarter. The widest cathedral in England with important carved choir stalls (school of Lincoln) and pulpitum. A visitors' centre provides an intimate experience for newcomers to the cathedral. This is near to Harvey Nichols, Urbis and Victoria Station.
  • Manchester Town Hall, on Albert Plaza. This imposing and beautiful neo-Gothic masterpiece by Alfred Waterhouse is a symbol of the wealth and power of Manchester during the Industrial Revolution. The building is closed to the public until 2024, because of renovation work expected to cost several hundred million pounds. The Town Hall is on the wide cobbled area of Albert Plaza, which is all accessible from Street Peter's Plaza Metrolink station.
  • John Rylands Library, on - Albert Plaza|Deansgate. The bequest to the people of Manchester by who was once the world's richest widow, Henriquetta Rylands, in memory of her husband John, but now administered by the University of Manchester. It contains the 'Manchester Fragment' the earliest known fragment of the New Testament, part of St. John's gospel found near Alexandria and dating from the first part of the second century, shortly after the gospel was first written. Tours can be booked around lunchtime. The library was designed by Basil Champneys and is the last building built in the perpendicular gothic style. There is a good cafe on the ground floor.
  • St Ann's Church is on one side of Street Ann's Plaza and offers a quiet refuge from the noise of the city. There is always a warm welcome inside. It is very popular for weddings on Saturdays.

Cultural Manchester

There are many theatres and concert venues in Manchester, (The Opera House, Palace Theatre, Royal Exchange, Dancehouse Theatre, and The Contact, not forgetting The Lowry at The Quays, which has three theatre spaces). Further afield, The Bolton Octagon, Bury Met, Oldham Coliseum and the lovingly restored 1930s Stockport Plaza with a wonderful 1930s tearoom overlooking Mersey Plaza are worthy of note. The Plaza shows films and hosts theatre productions and stages what are becoming very popular pantomimes at Christmas. The Garrick in Stockport as well as The Gracie Fields Theatre in Rochdale are all worth a mention too, as are university and RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) venues.

You can catch the likes of Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran at the Manchester Arena, which is the largest of its kind in Europe and seen as one of the best such venues in the world. Other such venues include the Apollo, Bridgewater Hall, and the revamped Manchester Central.

  • Central Library, near - Albert Plaza. As mentioned above. A beautiful, round, civic building from the 1930s, Central Library has just reopened following a major renovation and now offers a beguiling mix of old and new and showcasing its extensive collections. The company that used to shared the building is due to move to a new development named HOME merging with The Cornerhouse.
  • Manchester also has a couple of big multiplex cinemas located centrally: AMC off Deansgate (as affordable as £3.20 if you're a student) and the Vue in the Manchester/Victoria - Shopping District|Printworks show the usual Hollywood fare. The latter is home to an 'IMAX' screen.
  • Imperial War Museum North at the Quays. Great museum with fantastic architecture, in Trafford Borough, across the water from The Lowry, near Manchester United's Stadium, and designed by Daniel Libeskind, who also designed the Yahudi Museum in Berlin. The museum focuses on the people involved in war, whether it's the people who worked in the factories in World War II, or the soldiers who suffered in the battlefield. Tours are offered and displays are updated on a regular basis.
  • The Lowry, at Pier 8 on Manchester/The Quays|the Quays Home to the City of Salford's collection of the paintings of L.S. Lowry. The centre also contains two theatres and a drama studio which put on everything from "Opera North" productions to pantomime, local works and quality touring productions.
  • Manchester Art Gallery, near Chinatown. Designed by Sir Charles Barry architect of the Houses of Parliament. The gallery has a particularly fine collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings.
  • Manchester International Festival a Biannual event; generally in July - check is a major landmark in Manchester's annual calendar of events and the Manchester International Festival (MIF) offers one-of-a-kind, world-class events and cultural experiences across the city. Highlights of previous years include Sir Kenneth Branagh's performance of Hamlet in a de-consecrated church and concerts in a disused railway depot.
  • Manchester Museum, on Manchester/Universities|Oxford Road. Highlights include a fossil skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Egyptology, including painted mummy masks of the Roman era.
  • Gallery of English Costume, in Platt Hall Rusholme is now open once more and well worth a visit.
  • The Museum of Science and Industry in Castlefield is very popular with families and school groups and holds a vast collection of exhibits. The first ever passenger train station is part of the museum, whilst a reconstruction of 'Baby' and the first ever stored-program computer, created by Manchester University, is also on display.
  • People's History Museum, on Bridge Street between - Albert Plaza|Deansgate and the now much improved Salford Central Station. On Bridge Street, to the left, fans of modern architecture should look out for the new Manchester Civil Justice Centre. It is slowly becoming known to Mancunians as "the filing cabinet". You will see why! For a better view, take it in from the new square, on the other side, into the - Albert Plaza|Spinningfields neighborhood, itself worth a detour. There is a good cafe on the ground floor of the museum with a view of the river. Look out too for the now renovated Doves of Peace Statue outside the museum. This was first erected in 1986 to celebrate Manchester's decision to promote itself as a nuclear free city.
  • National Football Museum, in Manchester/Victoria - Shopping District|Millennium Quarter. Originally opened as a "museum of the modern city" in its unmistakable all-glass building, 'Urbis' is now the National Football Museum after all the exhibits were transferred from Preston. Well worth a visit if you're at all interested in "the beautiful game".
  • The Whitworth Art Gallery on Manchester/Universities|Oxford Road. This gallery houses modern and historic art, prints, and a collection of rare wallpapers. During the summer, forget the bus and walk down Oxford Road through the University area, looking out for The Aquatics Centre (a legacy of The Commonwealth Games) and The Royal Northern College of Music. Walk even further and seek out the above mentioned Gallery of English Costume near the famous Curries Mile in Rusholme, which is unique in Britain. At the Whitworth The Gallery Café was declared "Best Family Restaurant" by the "Which?-Good Food Guide 2009". The menu is simple with an emphasis on seasonal, local produce.
  • The Bridgewater Hall, near St. Peter's Plaza and the Manchester Central Exhibition Centre in Manchester/Castlefield - Petersfield|Petersfield, was completed 1996 and is the home of the Halle Orchestra and the world's first municipal symphony orchestra, and also houses travelling famous musical acts. The centrepiece of the hall is the 5,500-pipe organ by Rasmussen. An elegant bistro and restaurant are open at normal meal times to the general public. There is a bar next door down the wide steps, overlooking a pleasant water feature. Look out, too, for the polished stone sculpture outside!
  • The Manchester Yahudi Museum in [[Manchester/North|Manchester North.

Sporting Manchester

  • Watch cricket at Old Trafford. This is home to Lancashire County Cricket Club, one of the 18 "First Class Counties" and the top tier of English cricket. County matches normally last 3-4 days. The stadium also frequently hosts international or "Test Matches", lasting up to five days. The stadium is off Talbot Road leading southwest from the city.
  • Manchester City FC, Etihad Stadium, Rowsley Street M11 3FF, play in the Premier League and the top tier of English football. Long regarded as Manchester's second team, City in recent seasons have begun to overtake United. Their stadium, capacity 55,000, is in [[Manchester/North|Sportcity 2 miles east of downtown.
  • Manchester United Matt Busby Way, Stretford M16 0RA, play in the Premier League and the top tier of English football. Their fans' most heated rivalry is not with neighbouring Man City, but with Liverpool FC. Their 75,000-capacity stadium is two miles west of downtown at Old Trafford.
  • Sportcity is the "largest concentration of sporting venues in Europe." It is to the east of the downtown, about 30 minutes walk from Piccadilly Station. It was built to host most of the events for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and is home to the National Cycling Centre, Manchester City FC, and other important sporting venues.
  • Manchester Phoenix Ice Hockey Club, in Altrincham, was formed in 2003 to replace the once most supported team in European Hockey, Manchester Storm.

Hidden Manchester

  • Chetham's Library is Manchester's best kept secret - even most residents of the city are largely oblivious to its existence. Europe's oldest English language Public Library is tucked away next to the futuristic Urbis just off Millenium Plaza. One of Manchester's oldest buildings, it still has the original collection of books, all chained to their shelves. This is where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would visit while in Manchester and where Engels wrote the world-changing book The Condition of the Working Classes in England, a key influence on the development of Communism. You can still sit in the window seat where they would talk. The 15th-century structure is part of Chetham's Music School - there are no signs: ask at the security hut and they will happily let you in for free.
  • St Mary's, The Hidden Gem, near Manchester/Victoria - Shopping District|Albert Plaza. The oldest post-Reformation Catholic church in the nation, dating from 1794. It contains one of the greatest pieces of art in Manchester, and the altar is quite magnificent. This is a quiet refuge from the noise of the city.
  • The futuristic Trinity Bridge, designed by the Spaniard Santiago Calatrava, who was heavily involved in the designs for the Olympic village in Barcelona, is in the Chapel Wharf Area. This links the twin cities of Manchester and Salford, leading to the five star Lowry Hotel on the Salford bank. It is all a block behind Kendals, near the Freemasons' Hall. A nice pleasant view.
  • The Hulme Bridge in Hulme and the Merchant's Bridge in Castlefield, by Catalan Plaza, are also worth a look.
  • Parsonage Gardens is at the back of the House of Fraser (Kendals) Department Store. This is a quaint garden. Nice to relax in when the weather is fine and to read a book. Nearby there is also an observation platform which looks over the River Irwell and is ideal for taking photos of Trinity Bridge and The Lowry Hotel. This does also serve as a carpark, on an overhang, for one of the office blocks, but you may use it. It is a little hidden away but you access this to the right of 20 Street Mary's Parsonage, which runs along one side of the gardens.
  • Portico Library and Gallery, near Piccadilly Gardens. Home of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical society. Speakers here have included Dalton and the father of Atomic theory and describer of his own colour blindness and the Salford physicist Joule for whom the metric unit of energy is named and Roget (who compiled his celebrated Thesaurus here). The Austrian philosopher Wittgenstein here claimed to have attempted to repeat Franklin's celebrated kite and lightning experiment in the Peak District while employed at Manchester University.
  • Midland Bank Building (was the King Street branch of HSBC) is a domineering piece of architecture from 1928, reminiscent of Dublin's General Post Office. Go inside for a look if you can - its banking hall is now a restaurant owned by Jamie Oliver. It is at the upper end of King Street near Armani and Vivienne Westwood, towards Mosley Street.
  • The Cloud 23 Bar on the 23rd floor of The Hilton, Deansgate, within the Beetham Tower, offers a sublime view across Greater Manchester. Whilst the bar may be pricey and the view from even half-way up the gleaming skyscraper is magnificent. If you're not feeling thirsty you can also visit the bar and enjoy the vista for free. Just ask in the lobby.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Manchester

Manchester's shopping neighborhood is one of the most diverse shopping neighborhoods in the UK and the majority of downtown shops are within reasonable walking distance of each other (15 minutes at most) and most are served by a metroshuttle service.

Even in the most upmarket stores you are treated in a friendly manner. TheArndale Centre is a large 1970s city-centre shopping precinct with 280 stores. Although renovated and the place retains some of its 1970s concrete charms and still some of the infamous yellow tiles that are a testament to the urban planning of that era. It is connected via link bridge to the /marks-spencer/ Marks and Spencer and Selfridges department stores adjacent in Exchange Plaza. Trafford Centre escalators - The Trafford Centre

There are a number of large shops aimed at bargain hunters, including the largest Primark in the nation, which is great for a bargain and much loved by visiting cabin crews, and an Aldi food hall on Market Street (just off Piccadilly Gardens).

The Millennium Quarter (at the back of the Arndale Centre) is now quite smart and good for shopping. There's The Corn Exchange, an upmarket shopping centre based in the beautiful old Corn Exchange, worth a visit for the building alone and Selfridges, spread across 5 floors with its large Louis Vuitton concession and fantastic food hall in the basement. You will find everything from sushi to fine Chocolates, kosher foods, to a juice bar, etc. Harvey Nichols, opposite the Triangle, offers luxury fashions and produce to Manchester's rich and famous. The centre of Manchester's shopping area has traditionally been Victoria - Shopping District|St. Ann's Plaza, and there are many shops nearby.

King Street and Spring Gardens to the immediate Victoria, north of the downtown offer a Vivienne Westwood store (a local girl, from the nearby Peak District), Joseph, DKNY, Emporio Armani and Collezione; these catering for, amongst others and the city's Premiership footballers, soap stars (Coronation Street has been produced in the city since the early 1960s), and the many media types who can also be found in the area.

Deansgate has a fair number upmarket stores, as do some of the roads off it. The House of Fraser store, considered by many to be the top people's shop, (still known as "Kendals" to most Manchester people and "Kendal Milne's" to an even older generation) is on Deansgate and has been on roughly the same site since the mid-19th century. It is somewhat old school and the eating places are worth a visit. The new champagne bar, on the third floor, is the latest addition. One of central Manchester's few quiet green squares is just behind the store. This is Parsonage Gardens. Deansgate is also home to Ed Hardy and the General Store, Edwards as well as some high end restaurants.

Just off Deansgate is The Avenue a luxury designer shopping destination in the - Albert Plaza Spinningfields neighborhood of the downtown. It is the home to stores such as Flannels, Mulberry, Emporio Armani and Armani Collezioni, Brooks Brothers, Ermenegildo Zegna, Oliver Sweeney and Joseph. Combined with cafés and restaurants this is a top retail and leisure venue in the downtown.

There is also an outlet mall at The Lowry, in Salford Quays, near the Media City: UK development which houses the Al Jazeera's northern presence and Salford University's school of Media and Performance.

The Trafford Centre is a huge out-of-town shopping centre and accessible by car, taxi, or a bus/tram journey. It does not yet have a tram station of its own, although one is planned for the future. Dubbed by many a Temple to Consumerism, it is one of the largest, and possibly the grandest of such centres in Europe. It has its own branches of Selfridges, Debenhams and the best of Greater Manchester's two John Lewis stores. The other is in suburban Cheadle. The centre is spectacular, luxurious, and 'posh' inside and out. Look out for the biggest chandelier in Europe, near the Great Hall! If confused how to get there by bus and not too worried about the cost, opt for a through ticket on the tram and catch the link bus from Stretford station on the Altrincham line, (turn right out of station and take the first right for the bus stop). If you already have a Saver day ticket for the tram, just pay extra on the link bus. You can catch the same bus back to the station from a couple of stops around the centre or from the centre's own bus station. The cinema is also one of the best in the area and has even hosted some UK premières in the past. The centre is now also linked to an annexe offering homewares and furniture, built in an Italianate style around a very large outdoor fountain. With supermarkets and DIY outlets nearby, Mancunians can buy everything in this area without venturing into the city or any other town centre.

Of particular interest

  • Merchandise from the football clubs Manchester United and Manchester City is available from many locations including dedicated superstores in Old Trafford and Sportcity, respectively.
  • Afflecks Palace in the Victoria - Northern Quarter is "an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce," and a shopping arcade in a five-storey Victorian building, featuring a range of more than 50 independent stalls catering to a young alternative crowd. It's a lot of fun: strange costumes, lots of goths, punks, and teenagers. Saved from closing in April 2008, it is now known as "Afflecks".
  • The Northern Quarter is Manchester's answer to Soho, and there is a mishmash of stores which sell music, art, and clothing. More and more bistros and cafes are opening too. At night look out for the illuminated, public art attraction on top of the Church Street vehicle park. It is lit from 9PM to 1AM.
  • Every Christmas time, continental style Christmas markets take place in - Albert Plaza, in Manchester/Victoria - Shopping District|St. Ann's Plaza, and along both New Gothic Church Street and Brazennose Street. You can buy all the usual Continental and British Christmas curios as well as various foodstuffs. Good fun and very atmospheric at night when it's all lit up.
  • Also at Christmas, into the new year and there are open air skating rinks in - Albert Plaza|Spinningfields as well as a snow slide and other attractions at Piccadilly Gardens. There is also a winterbar at the Spinningfields location.
  • The small but perfectly-stocked food section of Harvey Nichols has a particularly fine department. Wines range from relatively affordable to the highest levels, e.g. Château Latour, vertical ranges of Petrus, Vega Sicilia, etc. They are still remarkably good value in context, e.g. 1990 Krug Clos de Mesnil 1990, arguably the greatest Champagne ever made and incomparably finer than the footballers' wildly overrated Crystal is about £150 cheaper than usually quoted elsewhere.
  • Of late and there is a flower market at the Market Street corner of Piccadilly Gardens Thursday through Saturday from 10AM Monday - 6PM. Some food stalls and craft stalls can be found there too.
  • Also hunt out the Craft and Design Centre, in the old Smithfield Market Building, in The Northern Quarter. The complex is full of artist studio space and boutiques, as well as a cafe.
  • There are regular events in Albert Plaza, Street Ann's Plaza and on New Gothic Church Street, all year around, where you can buy art, listen to music and sample foods from far and wide.
  • If catering for yourself and there are several Sainsbury's Local stores around the downtown, at Oxford Road, Mosley Street, Quay Street, Bridge Street, Piccadilly Station. Tesco Metro supermarkets can be found on Market Street (the largest supermarket in the centre), on Piccadilly and on Quay Street, which is near the Sainsbury's and Granada TV. M&S food outlets are within the M&S store next to Selfridges and there are also M&S Simply Food stores at Piccadilly Gardens and within Piccadilly Station. You will find increasingly popular Co-op food stores near both Victoria, by the movement's headquarters, opposite the Arndale Market, at Piccadilly Gardens and just outside Piccadilly station. For more upmarket food products, Harvey Nichols has a deli and foodhall as does Selfridges. The downtown's first Waitrose store opened near The Avenue development in Spinningfields-Albert Plaza|Spinningfields, with another expected to open on the approach road to Piccadilly station very soon. At the other end of the spectrum there is the Arndale Market and a large Aldi store in the Arndale Centre, which is, in common with most UK outlets, much more upmarket than the stores in Germany. This is also accessible from Market Street. There is also a Lidl and a Tesco on Oxford Road near Manchester Royal Infirmary.
  • For something a little bit different and the newly refurbished Manchester Arndale Market features many food stalls, including a rather large fish store and a butchers. Chinatown has many specialist shops and the landmark Wing Yip superstore on Oldham Road in the Northern Quarter is excellent for everything oriental.
  • There are various other mini-markets and late night stores around the downtown and in Piccadilly station. There are three 24-hour Spar's, one in Piccadilly gardens, one on Piccadilly station approach and the third opposite the former site of the Al Jazeera Studios on Oxford Road. Just out of the centre is a large Sainsbury's, in Regent Retail Park, Salford, an Asda store in Hulme, and a Tesco Extra hypermarket in Cheetham Hill.

Study as a Muslim in Manchester

There is no doubt that Greater Manchester's four universities continue to be a big draw and Manchester itself claims to be the UK's most popular student city. The University of Manchester receives more applications than any other UK university, whilst Manchester Metropolitan University also offers a wide variety of courses.

More and more language schools are also now opening and offer a more reasonable option than the likes of London and other southern venues. The average price for 1 hour's English (A1 to B2 Level) lesson in a class of 8 to 10 students is about £5. If you'd like to improve your English or another language in a social environment and there's also the /mle_manchester_language_exchange/ MLE Manchester Language Exchange MeetUp Group that organise language exchange events in Manchester.

How to work legally in Manchester

Manchester Ship Canal at Salford Quays (geograph 3273409)

There are numerous temporary agencies in the city and there is work in the hospitality industry to be had. There have been reports, of late, of teacher shortages (though not quite on par with London), and this could be of interest to overseas candidates with the relevant qualifications. Manchester has the highest job ratio of the eight English Core Cities and is therefore a very good place to find work. It could also be seen as a good alternative to London for employment opportunities.

Many thousands of East Europeans have been drawn to the city, but according to the press reports, a great number are now returning due to perceived job insecurity and the falling value of the pound, as a result of the economic downturn. Many, to date, have found work in the building trade, where there has been a boom as of late.

Manchester is an important financial centre and the media are also well represented, as can be seen in the Al Jazeera's relocation of many of its departments to the Media City at Salford Quays and ITV-Granada (makers of Coronation Street)'s move to the same site. MediaCity UK is home to many Al Jazeera studios.

Retail is a large employer, in and around the city, and there are many gyms in need of trainers for the growing downtown population.

Halal Restaurants in Manchester


Curry Mile is, as the name suggests, home to a lot of Muslim restaurants! Due to the high concentration of Curries houses, and all the competition, you should be able to get a really good Curries in just about any restaurant.

Also upmarket is a new venture by the side of the Museum of Science and Industry. This is Akbar's on Liverpool Road and they claim, on the side of buses, to be "probably the best Indian restaurant in the North of England".Also popular in town are the two EastZEast; the original is under the Ibis Hotel, behind the former site of the Al Jazeera building (now a vehicle park), and the new, very luxurious one is on Bridge Street, opposite the Manchester Central Travelodge, off Deansgate. Look out for the doorman at the riverside location. There they also offer free valet parking to all guests. These two are classy but not overpriced. Some have claimed the menu could be a little more adventurous, in view of all they seem to have invested. The riverside branch seems popular for Asian weddings, lately, which must say something about the quality of the venue.

Also just off Oxford Road on Chester Street is an Indian restaurant which has won lots of awards Zouk Tea Grill. They have a good mix of people dining there and it is open for lunch as well as evenings.

Further out, Moon in Withington and Third Eye in Didsbury, both in South Manchester, are excellent. Individual takes on traditional dishes are served alongside local specialities, and cost about £6 a dish.

In Chorlton, you should be able to find Coriander Restaurant, Azid Manzil and Asian Fusion. They are all on Barlow Moor Road.

Let's dive into the top Halal restaurants in Manchester based on customer reviews and ratings.

Al-Faisal Tandoori

Rating: 4.0 (413 reviews)
Location: 69 Thomas St

Al-Faisal Tandoori is celebrated for its authentic Pakistani dishes, earning praise for its flavorful tandoori specialties and attentive service.


Rating: 4.4 (658 reviews)
Location: 76 Wilmslow Rd

Al-Madina delights diners with its extensive Halal menu, offering a range of dishes from grilled meats to delectable desserts.

Safire Restaurant & Grill

Rating: 4.4 (938 reviews)
Location: 275A Upper Brook St

Safire Restaurant & Grill is a favorite among locals, known for its mouthwatering grilled dishes and inviting ambiance.

Saajan India Halal Takeaway and Restaurant

Rating: 4.1 (898 reviews)
Location: 129 Wilmslow Rd

This Halal Indian dining spot is praised for its rich flavors and convenient takeaway options, perfect for a quick yet satisfying meal.

Nayaab Buffet Restaurant

Rating: 4.1 (2,435 reviews)
Location: 5-7 Wilbraham Rd

Nayaab Buffet Restaurant stands out for its wide selection of Pakistani Halal food, including an array of delicious desserts.

Al Jazeera Restaurant

Rating: 4.4 (1,455 reviews)
Location: 22 Wilmslow Rd

Al Jazeera Restaurant offers a diverse Halal menu with options for dine-in, takeaway, and delivery, ensuring a delightful experience for all.


Rating: 4.4 (427 reviews)
Location: 167 Wilmslow Rd

SADAF is known for its tasty Halal dishes and prompt delivery service, making it a go-to choice for many diners.

Eat Meat Halal Steakhouse Manchester

Rating: 4.8 (3,245 reviews)
Location: 461 Wilmslow Rd

This steakhouse delights Meat lovers with its Halal options, offering a range of succulent Steak and grilled delights.


Rating: 4.4 (3,705 reviews)
Location: Unit 4, The Quadrangle, Chester St

ETCI MEHMET is a cool Turkish restaurant known for its Halal meats and excellent table service, providing a memorable dining experience.

Mughli Charcoal Pit

Rating: 4.1 (1,417 reviews)
Location: 30 Wilmslow Rd

Mughli Charcoal Pit offers authentic Mughlai cuisine in a charming setting, showcasing the best of Halal Indian flavors.

Manchester's Halal dining scene is vibrant and diverse, offering a fusion of flavors from around the world. Whether you're craving traditional Pakistani cuisine, savory Turkish delights, or aromatic Indian dishes, these restaurants promise a delightful culinary journey for Halal food enthusiasts.

Buy Muslim Friendly Condos, Houses and Villas in Manchester


eHalal Group Manchester is a prominent real estate company specializing in providing Muslim-friendly properties in Manchester. Our mission is to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the Muslim community by offering a wide range of halal-certified residential and commercial properties, including houses, condos, and factories. With our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and adherence to Islamic principles, eHalal Group has established itself as a trusted name in the real estate industry in Manchester.

At eHalal Group, we understand the importance of meeting the unique requirements of Muslim individuals and families seeking properties that align with their cultural and religious trainings. Our extensive portfolio of Muslim-friendly properties in Manchester ensures that clients have access to a diverse selection of options tailored to their needs. Whether it's a luxurious villa, a modern condominium, or a fully equipped factory, our team is dedicated to assisting clients in finding their ideal property.

For those seeking a comfortable and modern living space, our condos are an excellent choice. Starting at US$ 350,000 and these condominium units offer contemporary designs, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations within Manchester. Each condo is thoughtfully designed to incorporate halal-friendly features and amenities, ensuring a seamless integration of Islamic values into everyday living.

If you are looking for a more spacious option, our houses are perfect for you. Starting at US$ 650,000, our houses provide ample living space, privacy, and a range of customizable features to meet your specific requirements. These houses are located in well-established neighborhoods in Manchester, offering a harmonious balance between modern living and Islamic values.

For those seeking luxury and exclusivity, our luxury villas in Manchester are the epitome of sophistication and elegance. Starting at US$ 1.5 million and these villas offer a lavish lifestyle with private amenities, breathtaking views, and meticulous attention to detail. Each luxury villa is meticulously designed to provide a serene and halal environment, allowing you to enjoy the finest living experience while adhering to your Islamic principles. For further details please email us at

Muslim Friendly hotels in Manchester

There are thousands of hotel beds in the Manchester, ranging from 5-star establishments to bed and breakfast, via youth hostels and serviced apartments. Most accommodation is focussed in the Piccadilly area of the downtown with easy access to the InterCity Piccadilly Station. If in doubt, consult the tourist office, in Piccadilly Gardens. See City Information section for contact details and address.

Stay safe as a Muslim in Manchester

Sellers of The Big Issue magazine, are not usually regarded as beggars. The magazine is published by the Big Issue in The North, a social enterprise, and sold to the homeless for resale on the streets.

Manchester is generally quite a safe place, especially in commercialised and tourist orientated areas.

Cope in Manchester

Many countries have consulates and commissions in Manchester and the most in the UK outside London. For others, you may have to travel to London.

China Consulate General of The People's Republic of China - Denison House, Denison Road, Rusholme, Manchester, M14 5RY ☎ +44 161 248-9304

Pakistan Vice-consulate of Pakistan - 4th Floor Hilton House, 26/28 Hilton Street, M1

News & References Manchester

Explore more Halal friendly Destinations from Manchester

Manchester is well placed at the heart of Northern England. Everything is within an hour or so of Manchester's Piccadilly and Victoria stations; major cities, National Parks, picturesque scenery, seaside resorts and swanky suburbs can all be reached by train.


  • Blackpool — Around 1 hour by train. Previously known as 'The Playground of England'. Famed for a wild night out and favoured by Stag and Hen parties. An education, with some fantastic clubs to rival those anywhere! Blackpool's attractions including Britain's busiest theme park Pleasure Beach, Blackpool and the famous "Lights" from end of August to the first weekend in November.
  • If you want a quiet day by the seaside try Southport. Shopping and tea rooms combine with the beach to make Southport a nice relaxing day out. Accessible by train from Manchester in around one hour.
  • The North Wales seaside resorts of Rhyl, Prestatyn and Llandudno are around an hour and a half to two hours away from Manchester.
  • Formby near Southport is a nice day out. Some picturesque sand-dunes, red squirrel preservation area, an ice-cream van and a lovely beach.


  • Liverpool The two cities do not really have any fierce rivalry as they are both part of the greater north west and the massive urban sprawl of northern England. The River Mersey and Liverpool's Albert Dock, along with the city's breath-taking skyline, make it definitely worth a visit, with museums of national importance, a wealth of fine Victorian and Georgian buildings as well as two very contrasting cathedrals.
  • Leeds — Less than an hour from Manchester is the largest city in Yorkshire is home to the Royal Armories Collection, good museums and galleries and the much-praised West Yorkshire Playhouse Theatre. There is great shopping to be had, some of which is housed in elegant Victorian arcades, and many excellent restaurants & bars too.
  • Bradford. This urban center is next door to Leeds, so close their suburbs merge into one, and boasts the fabulous Alhambra Theatre, The National Media Museum, with a giant IMAX screen, and the German Merchants' Quarter, which is also well worth a visit.
  • Chester — Take a Direct train from Manchester Piccadilly or Oxford Road stations to this compact Roman city in Cheshire on the edge of North Wales. Old buildings and cobbled streets will greet you as well as the unique shopping streets with two storeys. You can also walk around the downtown on the Roman Walls. Lots of inviting tea rooms and pubs await you too as do the cathedral and Roman remains.
The city's zoo is one of the best in the nation, and can be found on the edge of the city, near the main Park & Ride vehicle park, which is easily reached from Manchester or Liverpool and well signposted. The "Blue Planet Aquarium" and "Cheshire Oaks Outlet Centre", near to each other, are but a short trip from the zoo also.
  • Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, is less well known to Manchester people, due to bad road links, but it is less than 40 miles (65 km) away and the train service from Piccadilly is good and the journey a scenic one. This fine, post-industrial city is said to be built on seven hills and was once home to a world-famous steel industry. Nowadays, Sheffield is a growing cultural centre, boasting the UK's second largest theatre complex and a thriving music scene that has produced such acts as Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard and Pulp.
  • Preston — This Lancashire town still retains an "old northern" culture and is the UK's newest city, having been at last granted that status. Preston is about a 40-minutes drive north of Manchester and also accessible by train or coach.


  • Peak District for grass and hills. About 20 miles/30 km to the east of the city. A National Park and one of the most beautiful parts of the nation. Buxton and the villages around are worth a look. Hadfield and Glossop are around 30 minutes train ride away from Piccadilly. Edale and Buxton are under an hour away.
  • The Lake District — For a bit of greenery in a National Park, go to the north. Of international poetic repute and one of the most beautiful parts of England. About an hour away.
  • Heaton Park — Ok, not exactly deep countryside but the nearest suburban Manchester can offer. Heaton Park is served by Metrolink trams around 10 minutes away from Manchester Victoria on the Bury Line, so it is great if you want a break from the city but are short on time! The tram station is on the Prestwich side of the park. The Nº 135 bus from Manchester centre will take you to the same entrance, as will the 137 and 138. Some other buses will take you to the Middleton Road side to the east of the park. You could easily spend a whole day in this expansive park, with loads of attractions including pitch and putt and the boating lake and the tramway museum, former stately home "Heaton Hall". Finish off with the excellent views of the City and surrounding countryside from the highest point in Manchester "Heaton Park Temple".
  • Delamere Forrest and Tatton Park are beautiful areas of Mid-Cheshire on the Manchester-Chester via Stockport line. Alight at Delamere and Knutsford stations respectively.

Suburban and beyond

  • Huddersfield — A solid Victorian gem! Around 30 minutes away by TransPennine Express. This fine town is in West Yorkshire.
  • Todmorden - A lovely Victorian town about 30 minutes away by train. A bustling market, fine restaurants and striking natural beauty are all included within this town of 14,000
  • Hebden Bridge - Set in the picturesque Calder Valley, this former milltown is around 35 minutes away by train.
  • Wigan — In the western part of Greater Manchester, it is the 2nd largest borough in the city region in terms of size and population. Home to the 1970s Northern Soul scene, famous for its premier league football league team Wigan Athletic & Super League Champion Rugby team Wigan Warriors as well as pies.
  • Rochdale — Also within Greater Manchester and home town of Gracie Fields, boasting a Victorian Gothic town hall to rival Manchester's. The town is around a 20-25 minutes train ride from Victoria or 50 minutes by bus from Shudehill Interchange, with First's 17 being the most frequent. The Cooperative Movement started here and there is a dedicated museum. The Metrolink tram service now runs to Rochdale.
  • Stockport is in the south of the city region and boasts the Hat Museum and the 1930s Plaza Cinema and Theatre with an authentic old style tea room. Trains from Piccadilly take around 13 minutes and there are also excellent bus links. From the train station there is a free bus link to the centre. You can also visit the underground World War II bomb shelters. Stockport is served by Stagecoach's 192 from Piccadilly Gardens and this is the most frequent bus service in the conurbation.
  • Bolton - The most northern neighborhood of Greater Manchester, famous for Bolton Wanderers FC, Bolton Market and the home of comic Peter Kay. Bolton is around 25 minutes by train or 1 hour by bus on services 8, 36 & 37 from the downtown. It is also home to the University of Bolton, Greater Manchester's newest and smallest university, as well as the rolling hills and greenery of the West Pennine Moors.
  • Bury, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Altrincham are all satellite towns, within Greater Manchester, each with their distinct feeling and market-town atmosphere. They are all under 25 minutes way from the downtown by train or Metrolink tram or a little more by bus.

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